Whether temporarily, due to a natural disaster or other emergency, or on a permanent basis, off grid living is intimidating. However, if you have food and water security, life becomes much easier. What you may not realize, is just how easy, and inexpensive, it is to grow, harvest, and store most, if not all, that you need. With these seven off grid living hacks, you will not only survive, but thrive for as long as you and your family want, or need to.
Start A Micro-Garden
As the name implies, a micro-garden is small. You don’t need much, just some seeds, soil buckets, or discarded flower pots and other containers. Choose a sunny location, either indoors or out that’s easy for you to access to tend and harvest your plantings. Most importantly, plant the types of vegetables and fruits that you and your family will enjoy. There is no point in growing things that no one likes, or will use.
An Outdoor Garden
A large garden will provide you and your family with fresh food on a year-round basis. Choose nutritious, high-yield crops that grow well in your area. Don’t over-plant, especially in the beginning. Experiment with smaller areas, and perfect your system. Raised beds are great, but, they can be costly. Don’t be afraid to plant in the ground, after the frost passes.
You can find wild, edible plants in most any climate and situation. Of course, you can’t just start picking and eating every berry and leaf you find. Learn about the local plants before you pick anything. You will be amazed at the amount of highly nutritious food you can find in a small area. From berries and seeds, to nuts and roots, it’s a literal smorgasbord out there.
Raising livestock, such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats is also a good way to provide much-needed protein in your diet. Some off-grid families also practice aquaculture as a means of feeding themselves. Animals need water, food and shelter just as we do, and they need room to thrive. Start small, perhaps with a few chickens and rabbits and add more as you gain experience.
Drying and Smoking Food
One of the easiest, and space-efficient means of food preservation is drying, or dehydrating. It is a great way to preserve produce and herbs. Drying racks made of salvaged lumber or tree limbs, make the drying process easier. Smoking and curing fish and other meats are effective ways to store vital proteins for later consumption. Store dried materials in old glass jars with lids, zip lock storage bags and other air-tight containers.
Collecting fresh water for drinking is the single, most important job you have on a daily basis. That water could come from a fast-running, pollution-free stream, a lake, or even rainwater. Gather collection containers such as buckets, jugs and coolers. Remember, you’ll need a gallon of water, per day, per person. Keep in mind, this is just for drinking and cooking. You’ll also need fresh water for cleaning and bathing.
Water Purification & Storage
It’s never wise to drink water directly from a river, lake, stream or other body of water. Doing so can cause severe illness and even death. Perhaps the simplest way to purify your water is to boil it for several minutes. This works well for small quantities, however, larger quantities of water require a different technique. Filter your water using a multiple stage, homemade water purification system, and/or add a few drops of bleach. Store your water in dark-colored, food-grade barrels and smaller, easier to handle glass bottles.
Living off-grid can be as easy as you make it. These hacks will help you on your way, but if you want more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have and we can help you solve your off-grid living problems.